Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen by Garth Nix
Sabriel is a normal girl in a seemingly semi normal society in this fantasy book, until she finds she must travel into the old kingdom, a world where death and free magic are corroding society, to save her father. Sabriel must accept her fate and become the one destined to help usher the dead on their journey to their end and the only good necromancer, the Abhorsen.
The second two books should actually be one long book as the story line is continuous from one to the next. Sequel to Sabriel, the story returns after many years and follows Lirael, an outcast in her society with a magical dog companion. In the book Lirael, Lirael must leave the confines of the only place she has ever called home to venture out to fulfill an unknown destiny. As her story continues in the book Abhorsen Lirael finds her destiny is to save mankind from the last free magic being that will destroy everything. Mixing necromancy, free magic, and charter magic, again Nix weaves a very fast paced tale that leave you waiting to see if Lirael can fulfill her destiny and save everyone in time.
This story was quite unique and did not follow the ordinary teen pattern found in many books right now. I found myself continuing to read drawn on to see what would happen next. Granted, I am not a fan of zombies and there were a lot of scary dead described in this book, I found it was done great enough to give chills but not to keep me awake at night. The story draws you in and keeps you reading. And as a side note, when the author explains that this story began with ideas from Hadrian’s Wall that separated the Great Britain during the roman occupation, the story takes on even more depth. It was a great self-contained novel and I was very happy to see that there is two sequels.
The second and third books force the reader to read both books to achieve the feeling of a finished story as the book Lirael leaves the reader with the main characters Lirael along with Sameth stranded with dead keeping them to the Abhorsen’s house. I prefer each book of a series to be able to stand alone as a good book. While the story line was just as unique and entertaining as the first book, I was rather disappointed to have to go find the third book immediately to not be left hanging by the end of Lirael. I am glad I was not reading them as they were published and had to wait years between books!
The first book Lirael starts out at a slow pace getting you introduced to the new main character. I don’t like it much when an author changes main characters in a series, but I found Lirael a more enjoyable protagonist to follow than Sabriel and kept reading on. Once Lirael leave the glacier and the action begins from that point until the end of Abhorsen so that it felt like the action never slowed down. By the time you finished the book it feels like the last page should congratulate you for not getting caught in the avalanche of story that just ran you over.
I completely recommend these books to anyone interested in fantasy-definitely a class need to read.